Quickies

Quickies: Delicious Pi, The Hygge Conspiracy, and Disgusting Food Advertisements

  • Solving a Mystery Behind the Deadly ‘Tsunami of Molasses’ of 1919 – “By studying the effects of cold weather on molasses, the researchers determined that the disaster was more fatal in the winter than it would have been during a warmer season. The syrup moved quickly enough to cover several blocks within seconds and thickened into a harder goo as it cooled, slowing down the wave but also hindering rescue efforts.”
  • Pi is delicious — and other math lessons you’ll be happy to learn – “Cheng is the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s energetic scientist-in-residence, and she thinks math is elegant, beautiful and even delicious. In her classes at the Art Institute, she teaches painters and sculptors that math is a creative process. For the rest of us, she’s written a book, ‘How to Bake Pi,’ which uses the example of warm, baked goods (and other treats) to illustrate mathematical concepts.”
  • The hygge conspiracy – “This year’s most overhyped trend is a wholesome Danish concept of cosiness, used to sell everything from fluffy socks to vegan shepherd’s pie. But the version we’re buying is a British invention – and the real thing is less cuddly than it seems”
  • How One Activist Used Opera and Drag to Change American Politics Forever – “Since the AIDS epidemic, Sarria’s annual pilgrimages to his husband’s cemetery took on a new meaning: more than just an ironic celebration of Emperor Joshua Norton, they became a way for gay and trans San Franciscans to mourn their dead and to agitate for socio-political change.”
  • Gastro-Disasters: Spectacularly Appalling Food Adverts from Yesteryear – “Steaming sausages atop a mound of veggies and toast – sounds good in theory.”
  • The Worst Paid Freelance Gig in History Was Being the Village Sin Eater – “The sin eater paid a high price to help others drift smoothly into the afterlife: the coin he was given was worth a mere four English pence, the equivalent of a few U.S. dollars today. Usually, the only people who would dare risk their immortal being during such a religious era were the very poor, whose desire for a little bread and drink carried them along.”
  • People Censor Themselves Online for Fear of Being Harassed – “Some groups are more often targeted than others. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual users are more than twice as likely than straight users to experience abuse online, the study found, and although men and women are subject to similar levels of abuse, the attacks on women were often of a more serious nature. Of the 20 categories of harassment the researchers looked at, men were more likely to report being called names and being embarrassed online, while women were more likely to be stalked, sexually harassed, or have false rumors spread about them.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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